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MRU Foundation

Todd Nickle Memorial Bursary Fund

Todd Nickle was born and raised in Calgary.  He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Calgary, and with his wife Penny, moved to Oklahoma in 1993 to continue his studies. Todd immersed himself in his work at Oklahoma State University exploring plant genetics.  Throughout their six years in the US, Todd and Penny started to grow their family.  Timothy was born in 1997 and Erin in 1999.  After completion of his PhD in Botany, Todd had the good fortune to join Mount Royal in 1999 as a faculty member. Todd noted, “I didn’t start out wanting to teach, but as I pursued my PhD and master’s — there is working with students throughout that — I found that’s where I lit up. That’s where I had opportunities to be creative and make analogies and be challenged and talk back and forth. I kind of fell into it.”

He excelled at teaching, bringing science to life in inventive, creative ways; he relished challenging his students and engaging them in authentic activities to connect their studies to real life. And he set aside remarkable amounts of time for his students (office hours? “By appointment or just stop by!”). For Todd, student learning was a journey of transformation.

In 2012, Todd was among the first group of faculty members to be promoted to full Professor, and in 2015 he received the Distinguished Faculty Award, after being nominated by students and colleagues. Everything about Todd's career reflected his passion for undergraduate teaching. He gathered a group of biology educators and shepherded an official society: the Alberta Introductory Biology Association (AIBA, later renamed the Undergraduate Biology Educators of Alberta UBEA). He was a textbook author, an early adopter of educational technology, and was constantly innovating and experimenting with teaching techniques and assessment strategies.

Todd Nickle was a valued member of the Mount Royal family, a colleague and a friend. Todd was generous, funny, caring and would go out of his way to help his colleagues and friends. He was a kind soul, and a loving husband and father who relished a good joke, enjoyed lake life during the summer, kayaking, and playing the guitar.  He is dearly missed by everyone whose lives he touched.

At the wish of the family, donations will be used to support a scholarship in Todd's name.

If you wish, you can leave a message of condolence for the family in the description section, or send an eCard.

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